Rachael Robertson

Antarctic expedition leader, bestselling author, leadership expert

Rachael Robertson is a dynamic leader and superbly strategic thinker under the most challenging circumstances. She successfully led the 58th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Davis Station - only the second female to lead a team at the Station and one of the youngest-ever leaders.

Rachael is also a best-selling author, Australia's pre-eminent authority on extreme leadership and Australia's most booked female speaker. Her talents are in great demand from leading organisations around the globe.

As a keynote speaker and facilitator at over 700 national and international conferences and events, Rachael Robertson shares what it was like to be a leader in such an intense and unique situation - and the many valuable leadership lessons she learnt during her time of exploration and discovery.

More about Rachael Robertson:

As only the second female to lead a team to Davis Station in Antarctica Rachael Robertson managed a diverse group of up to 120 people, through total isolation, months of darkness, with no way in and no way out. It was a leadership laboratory in the most extreme and hostile environment on Earth, where most of the theory doesn't apply.

In Antarctica she built a resilient and highly successful team based on the foundation that ‘respect trumps harmony'. Prior to leading the expedition Rachael had 16 years experience in a variety of senior operational roles in complex and challenging environments. She was Victoria's youngest Chief Ranger and led the media coordination unit during the Black Saturday bushfires. Since returning to Australia in 2006 Rachael has completed her MBA, written a best-selling book on her experience, Leading on the Edge, and has presented at over 700 conferences and events around the world.

Rachael has over 350 clients including NAB, AXA, Westpac, BHP Billiton, IBM, Minter Ellison, Crown Casino, CPA Australia, Wesfarmers, BP, Choice Hotels and Melbourne Water.

Rachael presents with great humour, humility and passion. No matter the event, Rachael will leave your audience inspired, challenged and equipped to take the next step in their leadership journey.

Rachael Robertson talks about:

• Leading on the edge - Explore how great leaders build and invest in those around them and turn ‘moments into momentum' by paying attention to the little things. This is all about showing BIG leadership in SMALL moments.

• Future. Woman. Leader. - Rachael outlines the key personal mantras, commitments and career tools that every woman must use to progress effectively. Perfect for both women's and mixed events.

• 365 shades of white - An hilarious and compelling account of Rachael's time leading up to 120 people on in the remotest corner of the earth for a year. Hear about "life in the freezer", the plane crash, how "the bacon war" nearly derailed a $20M science program and other unique stories backed by uncommon insight and useful tools.

• The future of teamwork - In this keynote Rachael uncovers the critical tools she uses to quickly create cohesion, purpose and resilience in teams. Practical tools you can put to work straight away.

• Change is the new business as usual - Rachael provides the tools to navigate this world of ‘flux' that dominates business today. Self-leadership, resilience, and persistence are the keys to succeeding in a world of seemingly constant change.

• Remote and dangerous - Rachael recounts how she kept her team safe and sane through the long, dark Antarctic winter by building a culture of safety leadership. She provides practical tools people can use to create leadership around them.

Client testimonials

Rachael was engaging and responded well to the group. Her experiences are extraordinary and she did a great job of relating what she learnt. She was also able to illustrate the similarities between her roles and those of my team. In one word, "Terrific!"

ANZ Bank

We were delighted with the feedback on Rachael from our advisers. Evaluation forms contained phrases such as: "Excellent", "Truly inspiring", "Interesting" and "Fantastic presenter - very informative and interesting". Working with Rachael over five events around Australia was a delight. She has a very professional and flexible approach.


I have seen a number of speakers over the years, however Rachael was amongst the absolute best of them. I took so much away from her amazing story, and have relayed some of her messages to other people. Love the bacon war!


Rachael is a passionate and enthusiastic speaker. She has that magic mix of tangible down-to-earth stories that give way to strong and inspiring messages on leadership, relationships and life. She fully engages with the participants from the moment she arrives right through to the moment she leaves.


Inspirational leadership, real and fascinating stories. Great safety insights … simply excellent.

Exxon Mobil

Rachael's experience itself was incredibly interesting and different to most speakers you usually see at these kinds of events. She was honest, engaging and made her experience relevant to us. Having her for dinner to chat more informally after the presentation was great as she was interested in what we do, our challenges, etc. and gave us excellent advice by relating to some of the adversity she went through in Antarctica.


I have never received so much positive feedback from a guest speaker as I have this time. People continue to tell me how impressed they were with Rachael's story. She provided a fantastic insight into difficulties around management in a remote site. Her messages and insights can be applied within our business. She shared a range of unusual and interesting stories which made her message even stronger.

Crown Casinos & Hotels

Rachael provided insights and inspiration of leadership in a truly challenging environment engaging both new and experienced executives within our own "Challenging workplace".

Village Cinemas International

Rachael presented in a casual manner which I think was really appropriate for our group of delegates, especially after 3 full days of workshops. Rachael’s down to earth story of an ordinary person achieving extraordinary things inspires us all to work with all the tools available to us and to make our own opportunities and not just wait for them to come to us!

Choice Hotels Australasia